Configuring Oracle-Managed Infrastructure Maintenance

In addition to the maintenance tasks you perform, Oracle manages the patching and updating of all other infrastructure components, including the physical compute nodes (Dom0), the Exadata storage servers, and the Exadata network switches. This is referred to as infrastructure maintenance.

Oracle performs regular maintenance updates the underlying infrastructure hosting the Exadata Cloud Service virtual servers. This infrastructure includes the physical host servers, the Exadata storage servers, the fabric switches in the Exadata Secure RDMA Fabric, and any control plane components. Maintenance updates may require a restart of the customer-managed guest virtual servers. The frequency of the updates depends on the region type, as follows:
  • Commercial regions: Oracle performs quarterly infrastructure maintenance updates.
  • Government regions: Oracle performs monthly infrastructure maintenance updates.
Note

To minimize disruption to your applications, you can use the OCI Console to specify the maintenance window during which the quarterly and monthly infrastructure updates take place.

Oracle releases critical security updates for Exadata on a monthly schedule. If updates for severe vulnerabilities to the infrastructure software are available, Oracle will attempt to apply those critical updates within 21 days of their availability. In most cases, critical security updates are performed while your Exadata system is online, and have no impact on the database servers running database workloads. Critical storage server security updates are applied in a rolling manner, and are not expected to affect database availability. Critical security updates are applied automatically, and cannot be deferred or scheduled. If a monthly critical security update will affect a running database server, Oracle will notify you prior to applying the update.

Overview of the Infrastructure Patching Process

Infrastructure maintenance begins with patching of the Exadata compute nodes.

By default, infrastructure compute nodes are updated in a rolling fashion, where a single node is shut down, patched, and then brought back online while other nodes remain operational. This process continues until all nodes are patched.

Optionally, for any scheduled infrastructure maintenance, you can configure the patching to take place in a non-rolling fashion. For the non-rolling option, all nodes are shut down at the same time and patched. Non-rolling patching reduces the total amount of time that infrastructure maintenance takes, but does involve system down time. Non-rolling patching must be set for each individual maintenance event, and cannot be set as the default patching method. See To set the node patching order for a scheduled infrastructure maintenance run for instructions.

After compute node patching completes, Oracle patches the storage nodes. Storage server patching does not impact compute node or service availability.

Oracle recommends reviewing the documentation on Workload Management with Dynamic Database Services, and Continuous Availability client failover best practices to reduce the potential for an outage with your applications. By following the guidelines in the documentation, the impact of infrastructure patching will be only minor service degradation due to connection loss as compute nodes are sequentially patched.

Oracle recommends that you follow the Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) best practices and use Oracle Data Guard to ensure the highest availability for your critical applications. For databases with Oracle Data Guard enabled, Oracle recommends that you separate the patching windows for the infrastructure instances running the primary and standby databases, and perform a switchover prior to the maintenance operations for the infrastructure instance hosting the primary database, to avoid any impact to your primary database during infrastructure patching.

Note

Regardless of node patching method (rolling or non-rolling), Oracle does not verify that all database services and pluggable databases (PDBs) are available after a node is brought back online. This is because the availability of services and PDBs after patching can depend on the application service definition.

Table 4-2 Approximate Times for Exadata Infrastructure Patching

Exadata Shape Configuration Rolling Patching Method (Approximate Time) Non-Rolling Patching Method (Approximate Time)
Quarter rack 5-6 hours 4 hours
Half rack 10 hours 4 hours
Full rack 20 hours 4 hours
Flexible shapes (X8M and higher) 1.5 hours per compute node + 1 hour per storage node 4 hours
Note

Do not perform major maintenance operations on your databases or applications during the patching window, as these operations could be impacted by the rolling patch operations.

Scheduling Oracle-Managed Infrastructure Updates

Exadata Cloud Infrastructure updates are released on a quarterly and monthly basis for government. You can set a maintenance window to determine the time your infrastructure maintenance will begin.

You can also view scheduled maintenance runs, view the maintenance history of your Exadata Cloud Infrastructure instance, and manage maintenance contacts in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console on the Exadata Infrastructure Details page.

Oracle may update your system apart from the these regular updates to apply time-sensitive changes such as security updates. While you cannot opt out of these infrastructure updates, Oracle alerts you in advance through the Cloud Notification Portal if there will be any impact to your system availability.

To set the automatic maintenance schedule for Exadata Cloud Infrastructure

To view or edit the time of the next scheduled maintenance for Exadata Cloud Infrastructure

To view the maintenance history of an Exadata Cloud Infrastructure resource

To set the node patching order for a scheduled infrastructure maintenance run

This task describes how to set the node patching order for a scheduled infrastructure maintenance run for a cloud Exadata infrastructure or Exadata DB system resource.

Note

By default, all scheduled maintenance runs are initially set to use rolling patching. To use non-rolling patching, you must change this setting for each maintenance run after it is scheduled.

  1. Open the navigation menu. Click Oracle Database, then click Exadata at Oracle Cloud.
  2. Navigate to the cloud Exadata infrastructure or DB system you want to access:
    • Cloud Exadata infrastructure (new resource model): Under Exadata at Oracle Cloud, click Exadata Infrastructure. In the list of infrastructure resources, find the infrastructure you want to access and click its highlighted name to view its details page.

    • DB systems: Under Bare Metal, VM, and Exadata, click DB Systems. In the list of DB systems, find the Exadata DB system you want to access, and then click its name to display details about it.

  3. On the resource details page, under Maintenance or Infrastructure Maintenance, click the view link in the Next Maintenance field.
  4. On the Maintenance page, click the edit link in the Maintenance Method field for a scheduled cloud Exadata infrastructure maintenance run.
  5. In Update Exadata Infrastructure Node Patching Order, change the maintenance method to either Rolling or Non-rolling as needed.

Monitor Infrastructure Maintenance Using Lifecycle State Information

The lifecycle state of your Exadata Infrastructure resource enables you to monitor when the maintenance of your infrastructure resource begins and ends.

In the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, you can see lifecycle state details messages on the Exadata Infrastructure Details page when a tooltip is displayed beside the Status field. You can also access these messages using the ListExadataInfrastructures API, and using tools based on the API, including SDKs and the OCI CLI.

During infrastructure maintenance operations, you can expect the following:
  • If you specify a maintenance window, then patching begins at your specified start time. The infrastructure resource's lifecycle state changes from Available to Maintenance in Progress.
    Note

    The prechecks are now done prior to the start of the maintenance.
  • When Exadata database server maintenance starts, the infrastructure resource's lifecycle state is Maintenance in Progress, and the associated lifecycle state message is, The underlying infrastructure of this system (dbnodes) is being updated.
  • When storage server maintenance starts, the infrastructure resource's lifecycle state is Maintenance in Progress, and the associated lifecycle state message is, The underlying infrastructure of this system (cell storage) is being updated and this will not impact Database availability.
  • After storage server maintenance is complete, the networking switches are updated one at a time, in a rolling fashion.
  • When maintenance is complete, the infrastructure resource's lifecycle state is Available, and the Console and API-based tools do not provide a lifecycle state message.

Receive Notifications about Your Infrastructure Maintenance Updates

There are two ways to receive notifications. One is through email to infrastructure maintenance contacts and the other one is to subscribe to the maintenance events and get notified.

Oracle schedules maintenance run of your infrastructure based on your scheduling preferences and sends email notifications to all your infrastructure maintenance contacts. You can login to the console and view details of the schedule maintenance run. Appropriate maintenance related events will be generated as Oracle prepares for your scheduled maintenance run, for example, precheck, patching started, patching end, and so on. For more information about all maintenance related events, see Oracle Cloud Exadata Infrastructure Events. In case, if there are any failures, then Oracle reschedules your maintenance run, generates related notification, and notifies your infrastructure maintenance contacts.

For more information about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Events, see Overview of Events. To receive additional notifications other than the ones sent to infrastructure maintenance contacts, you can subscribe to infrastructure maintenance events and get notified using the Oracle Notification service, see Notifications Overview.

Managing Infrastructure Maintenance Contacts

Learn to manage your Exadata infrastructure maintenance contacts.

To manage maintenance contacts in an Exadata Cloud Infrastructure

Manage contacts for Exadata infrastructure maintenance notifications using the Console.

To prevent an Exadata infrastructure administrator from being overwhelmed by system update notifications, you can specify up to 10 email addresses of people to whom maintenance notifications are sent.

  1. Open the navigation menu. Click Oracle Database, then click Bare Metal, VM, and Exadata.
  2. In the Exadata at Oracle Cloud section, click Exadata Infrastructure to display a list of Exadata infrastructures in the default compartment. You can select a different compartment from the Compartment drop-down located in the List Scope section.
  3. In the list of Exadata infrastructure resources, find the infrastructure you want to access and click its highlighted name to view its details page.
  4. In the Maintenance section, click Manage in the Customer Contacts field to display the Manage Contacts dialog.
  5. Click the Add Contacts button to display a field in which to enter a valid email address. You can have up to 10 maintenance contacts for each Exadata infrastructure.
  6. To edit an email address, in the Manage Contacts dialog, select the box preceding the email address you want to edit and click the Edit button.
  7. To remove an email address from the list, in the Manage Contacts dialog, select the box preceding the email address you want to remove and click the Remove button.